The Training Bulletin

Joint newsletter related to new activities and resources
in international meteorological training

// Issue V - Dec 2015

Activities & events
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Piloting the Moodle Course

January 2016 / online

Keeping with the aims of the WMO Global Campus, multiple organizations (EUMETCAL, WMO, VLab, EUMETSAT, EUMeTrain, IMGW-PIB and MeteoFrance) came together to create a self-directed Moodle Course for trainers and educators in Earth sciences. We are pleased to announce that the three units of this course (introductory level) will be released to the group of pilot participants, in January 2016. If you like to learn how to ‘Design an effective learning environment’ (Unit 1), ‘Provide learning resources’ (Unit 2) or ‘Provide opportunities for dialogue and reflection (Unit 3) you can sign up for the pilot now!

The online course is delivered in a Moodle website following a self-paced mode. This format allows participants to decide how much time to dedicate to the course and when to study. Once enrolled, they can engage at the level they like and make the course fit their schedules. Participants may follow the units in a sequence or pick and choose what to learn.  However, each of the units has self-assessment items — quizzes. Whoever achieves sufficient scores on all the quizzes in a unit will be rewarded with a badge.

Note: we expect to receive timely feedback from pilot participants, which will help us to improve the course.


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11th EUMETCAL workshop

10-14 October 2016 / Langen

The 11th Eumetcal Workshop will be held 10-14 October 2016, hosted by Deutscher Wetterdienst in Langen, Germany. This event has been largely recognised as the main forum for European trainers and, as such, an appointment not to be missed and to contribute to.

The theme of Eumetcal Workshop 2016 will be decided by the end of January. However, following the feedback of participants from past events, the format of the workshop will be very practical, with interactions and practical workshops on new tools and methods for training in meteorology and environmental sciences.

Please book this dates in your calendar!


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Baltic+ 2016

15-17 March 2016 / Warsaw

The Baltic+ course is a joint initiative of the National Meteorological Services of Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Poland. It aims to increase the knowledge of, and skills in, using satellite observations, and provide a meeting place for exchanging ideas, practices and knowledge.

The three day workshop will focus on practical issues, with the main topic being using EUMETSAT data to identify clouds, especially low clouds and fog.. Using both satellite and NWP data in nowcasting and issuing warnings will be prime subjects of the training.

To prepare participants for the classroom course and reduce differences in their knowledge an online phase is also being run in February 2016. The Moodle platform will enable participants to go through training resources and to do learning activities and self-assessment quizzes.


// Issue V - Dec 2015
Resources & Tools
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A new coat for ePort!

Online platform

In mid-November  new ePort software went  online. While keeping the name, the technical concept behind this web-based visualisation tool is completely new.

ePort now uses the ‘Map Viewer’ tool developed by IBL. Similar to the previous version of ePort, the new tool is based on Flash©, but  uses web mapping technology to display satellite and model data. ePort can be opened by selecting the corresponding pull-down menu on the EUMeTrain webpage.

However, ePort handling has changed. Image and NWP combinations are more tightly connected; the most frequently used combinations are predefined so meteorological information is available with less clicks. NWP parameters are available on main pressure levels and, similar to the old ePort, five geographical regions have been defined where meteorological information can be displayed.

While the old ePort could not be developed further, the new ePort can — thanks to web mapping technology it can be be upgraded by other regions and input data. An archive will be built up during the next five years to become a rolling archive.

The old ePort will remain accessible on in the archive mode.


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New African Satellite Meteorology lessons

Online training lesson

Within the ASMET-8 project the team has produced four new satellite training lessons. They are available in English, online at MetEd website (registration needed). The French versions of the lessons will be available in 2016.

Extreme High Swell Events on the Moroccan Atlantic Coast is produced by la Direction de la Météorologie Nationale in Morocco. It describes the appropriate process in forecasting high swell events.

Using ASCAT Wind and Other Data in Marine Forecasting, produced by South African Weather Service experts, demonstrates the use of scatterometer wind and, to a lesser extent, altimeter significant wave height products in marine forecasting.

Forecasting Heavy Rains and Landslides in Eastern Africa, prepared by Kenya Meteorological Service experts, highlights the importance of satellite-based observations in monitoring and forecasting heavy precipitation that often leads to devastating landslides and mudslides.

Satellite-Derived Climatology Products for Monitoring Convection Over West and Central Africa, written by École Africaine de la Météorologie et de l´Aviation Civile in Niger, describes the importance for the forecaster in knowing the regional climatology, especially where convection is involved. The lesson describes satellite-derived cloud climatology products and several global instability indices.

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The new tool for analysing RGB images

Online Application

Different channels give different information, and the combinations of channels reveal more information than single channels alone. With the creation of the MSG and its 12 channels, each with its own unique qualities, a series of standardized RGBs were developed.

Therefore EuMeTrain has produced a free and easy to use RGB analyzing tool for 11 different RGBs. The RGB Tool was developed to help you with analyzing the images and understanding the physics behind it. The Tool is Windows based and to be able to use it, you will first have to install Net Framework 4.0 or higher.  It is straight forward, but if you have any question, a little guide is avaliable.

You can download the Tool and the guide from RGB Colour Interpretation Guide. They are also available on SatManu web pages. The future plan is to produce an RGB Tool which will be operable on other platforms as well, possibly stand-alone application.


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Lesson on application of scatterometers and altimeters for marine forecasting

Online training lesson

Scatterometers and altimeters provide a variety of space-based observations that are useful for marine analysis and forecasting, as well as other applications. Two key products are ocean surface winds from scatterometers and significant wave heights from altimeters.

EUMETSAT has produced, in partnership with COMET, a new online lesson which describes the basics of scatterometers and altimeters. This includes:

  • • How they work.
  • • What they measure.
  • • How scatterometer winds and altimeter significant wave heights are derived.

It discusses some of the challenges in using the estimates, such as dealing with ambiguities and rain contamination. It also provides various opportunities to interpret the data, both in the main sections and the case studies.

The lesson is available to everyone and is hosted in the MetEd library; access is available after free registration.

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EUMeTrain Event Week on Satellite-Derived Precipitation

webcasts / presentation slides

The EUMeTrain Event Week on Satellite-derived Precipitation took place between 23–27 November. During this week, 13 online lectures were given in eight sessions. The principles of the measurements were presented, together with different products from both geostationary and polar orbiting satellites. The NWCSAF and H-SAF precipitation products were introduced, along the MPEF MPE and the KNMI CPP products. Two full sessions were dedicated to the very recent Global Precipitation Measurement programme. The core GPM satellite has the capability to not measure rain and snow. The meteorological and hydrological applications of these products were also shown through different cases.

At the end of the event week the participants gained a general knowledge about precipitation estimation from satellites. The presenters put in a great effort to provide many sources for where and how these data can be obtained.

The participation of the event was free; there were a good number of people attending each session. Webcast and slides from lectures will be published at the EUMeTrain website.


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How to access and use RapidScat Data – recordings available

Webinar webcasts

On 16 September, 40 participants from 18 countries and four continents, attended the webinar, organised by EUMETSAT and OSI SAF, on ‘How to access and use RapidScat data, from the wind scatterometer on the International Space Station (ISS)? . Missed the event? Or would like to hear again what Ad Stoffelen (KNMI) and Zorana Jelenak (NOAA) had to say about the data available from the OSI SAF, achievements of the RapidScat data and experiences on using the data in operational marine analysis and forecasting? The recordings from the webinar are now available for download from the EUMETSAT Training Library. In addition, you can preview the videos, part one by A. Stoffelen  and part two by Z. Jelenak, directly online.

We are glad that these resources are already useful to the participants of the ongoing online Marine Satellite Course, organised by EUMeTrain and supported by EUMETCAL. Please share the links further to allow  more colleagues to benefit from these presentations.


// Issue V - Dec 2015
Stories & Achievements
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Rapid Scan Workshop

2-6 November / Prague

In November 2015, 38 participants, mainly forecasters and PhD students of meteorology, from 15 countries took part in a workshop on the use of rapid scan data for monitoring and nowcasting of high impact weather, organised by CHMI and EUMETSAT.

The topic ‘Use of rapid scan data’ was chosen because of the anticipated operational availability of more frequent rapid scan data on the new generations of geostationary weather satellites, such as MTG-I, Himawari-8 and GOES-R/S, which will replace the present generations of GEO satellites in next few years.  The main purpose of the workshop was to demonstrate the benefits of more frequent rapid scan data on cases of deep convective storms and high impact weather situations, and to compare these data to presently available 5-minute RSS and 15-minute MSG data.

Based on the results of the final discussion, Meteosat-9 rapid scan images are operationally displayed in most, but not all, NMHSs in Europe. These images are more often used in the spring and summer convection seasons, but also during winter by aviation and road forecasters. Rapid scan images are also popular with weather amateurs , particularly for storm chasing.


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WMO-Eumetcal Training Development Workshop

2–6 November / Warsaw

WMO and Eumetcal hosted the Training Development Workshop for RA-VI, in Warsaw, Poland at the outstanding facilities of IMGW-PIB, from 2–6 November 2015. The objective of the workshop was to bring together many of the successful trainers from the Online Course for Trainers held earlier this year, to put their skills into action for implementing their Training Development Plans. The workshop provided a unique opportunity to trainers of WMO RAVI to further develop the training activities they had been working on, or start planning new ones, relying on the support of fellow trainers and supervisors.


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XII Ibero-American course

7-18 September / Montevideo

The Ibero-American course is a well-established annual two-week course, which has already trained more than 350 forecasters and climatologists in the Central and South American region. This year itfocused on mid-latitudes nowcasting and forecasting, supported by satellite diagnostics. Meteosat is an excellent satellite at the geostationary orbit ,with Venezuela, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay completely included in its field of view. Argentina and northern Chile are also covered by Meteosat, at a similar horizontal resolution as Finland. The data is used operationally in Bolivia, Cuba and Paraguay, due to its excellent temporal refresh of 15 minutes. Unfortunately, the EUMETCast-Americas dissemination service is foreseen to stop end of 2016.


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Preparing for the Next Generation of Satellites

16-20 November / online

The next generation of satellites will bring exciting new possibilities and challenges. Looking to the future, the WMO-CGMS Virtual Laboratory (VLab) organised a week of events with satellite operators and institutions working on the development, testing and training for the use of satellite imagery.
During the event, 11 online sessions were offered by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), the China Meteorological Administration (CMA), the India Meteorological Department (IMD), NOAA, the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA), EUMETSAT, the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA)  and the COMET Program. The event, which was in English, linked presenters and participants from six WMO Regional Associations, showing high interest in the training and information available to help users prepare for the coming satellites.

Event organiser Kathy-Ann Caesar (VLab co-chair, Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) said: “This event showed the true value of what can be achieved when partners come together to work on a common cause.”

For more information and resources see here

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WMO Curriculum Development Workshop for Climate Services

21-25 November / Kibbutz Shefayim

More than 30 experts in climatology or training disciplines met at Kibbutz Shefayim, Israel from 21-25 November to develop plans for meeting the training needs of countries implementing climate services. The workshop goals were to expand upon the draft Climate Services Competency Framework, map existing learning resources to the framework, identify potential and ongoing projects to meet learning needs, identify collaborative ventures to leverage limited resources, and develop strategies for enhancing the impacts and reach of training efforts. Teams representing each of the high-level competencies worked to identify learning outcomes, define skill and knowledge requirements, and identify learning opportunities in each area. Outcomes of the workshop will be shared with services and training providers to guide future training initiatives.

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Participants at CALMet XI conference sponsored by Eumetcal

7-11 September / Seoul

CALMet XI workshop was hosted by Korean Meteorological Administration. The workshop provided  a global forum to share experiences, expectations and new ideas for meteorology and hydrology education and training. Eumetcal offered partial sponsorship to three trainers of its member organisations.

Their comments.

Philip Merritt (UKMO): “I have tried out using the booster question approach for some of my training which seems to have gone very well, and I hope that I will be able to help develop more blended learning approaches for other training I am involved with.”

Ivan Smiljanic (DHMZ): “To learn about learning is a privilege for me and I believe that ‘Calmet’ is one of the best platforms for that, globally. Many trainers and trainees in Europe are seeing this workshop as a global version of the Eumetcal workshop, therefore I am very glad that Eumetcal took the initiative to support it and sponsor more than one attendee to travel to Korea.”

Heleen Ter Pelkwijk (KNMI): “It is interesting to see that each continent has its own training-related issues and, therefore, is specialised in a different field of meteorological education and training. For me this opens new perspectives and broadens my view.”


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Online Educa Berlin

2-4 December / Berlin

EUMETSAT,WMO and EUMETCAL were present at Online Educa Berlin, one of the biggest European events addressing current ideas, discoveries and challenges in distance learning.  Workshops, discussions and presentations were targeted at corporate, government, and school sectors. Exhibitors provided a range of technological solutions for all audiences.

In the Knowledge Exchange workshop, participants from both university and corporate environments discussed their experiences and challenges with implementing effective blended learning. Later Stephen Downes lead a session on developing personal learning environments (PLEs). Read more in the Blended, Flexible, and Personalized article.

Other highlights of the event included an inspiring presentation by futurist Simon Nelson, a session on the state and future of MOOCs, and a panel session on diffusion of online learning for vocational training in developing countries. YouTube was claimed the most popular learning platform, and it was argued that "any lecturer that can be replaced by a YouTube video will be".  Read more about how the shift is accelerating.

One of the best sessions of the last day was on ‘Future Work and Future Workers’. Several futurists posed their visions of how the world of work is changing. Read more in The future of work and learning article.


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1st Africa and Middle East workshop on the health impact of airborne dust

2-5 November / Amman

This workshop enabled the exchange of knowledge between health and meteorology experts from universities, institutes, the World Health Organization and the World Meteorological Organization, to help establish the connection between the spread of diseases, where dust is the transmission agent or the direct cause. Correlating epidemics to dust present in the atmosphere is at the basis of our current state of the art. As a result, gaps and further actions needed to prevent epidemics were identified.. Coincidentally during the event there was an intense dust episode, followed by flooding.

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XIII Satellite Applications Course at EAMAC for French- speaking meteorologists

23-27 November / Niamey

EAMAC is the training school for ASECNA. With the support of EUMETSAT, it organised a blended course, which started with an online training phase in September, followed by classroom training at the end of November. The participants were already motivated and came with questions, which made the face-to-face section more interactive. Additionally this year, for the first time, the participants chose three topics (convection, dust monitoring and soil condition) for online presentations next January. This will prove their maturity in communicating for operational training and briefing, hopefully without many internet hiccups. If you are interested in this event, which will be delivered in French, please check the EUMETSAT Training Zone, for more details.